Professor Fabian Freyenhagen

School of Philosophy and Art History
Professor Fabian Freyenhagen
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872713

  • Location

    5B.113, Colchester Campus



Fabian Freyenhagen read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Exeter College, Oxford, and then completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Sheffield. Before joining the Department, he taught at Sheffield and Cambridge. He was Co-Investigator of two AHRC funded projects under the umbrella of the Essex Autonomy Project (, which he continues to co-direct.


  • BA Oxford

  • PhD Sheffield


University of Essex

  • Head of School, SPAH University of Essex ( 1/8/2014 - 31/7/2017 )

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Theory, history and practice of autonomy

Frankfurt School (especially Adorno)

Ethics (particularly Kants and Kantian ethics)

Political Philosophy

Current research

Critical Theory and the notion of social pathology;

Autonomy and its (social) conditions;

Ethics after Auschwitz


Journals (25)

Freyenhagen, F., (2017). Autonomy's Substance. Journal of Applied Philosophy. 34 (1)

Owen, GS., Freyenhagen, F., Martin, W. and David, AS., (2017). Clinical assessment of decision-making capacity in acquired brain injury with personality change. NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL REHABILITATION. 27 (1)

Freyenhagen, F., (2017). What is Orthodox Critical Theory?. World Picture. 12 (3)

Freyenhagen, F., (2017). A whole lot of misery: Adorno's negative Aristotelianism—Replies to Allen, Celikates, and O'Connor. European Journal of Philosophy. 25 (3)

Freyenhagen, F., (2016). Was ist orthodoxe Kritische Theorie?. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie. 65 (3)

Owen, GS., Freyenhagen, F., Hotopf, M. and Martin, W., (2015). Temporal inabilities and decision-making capacity in depression. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. 14 (1)

Freyenhagen, F., (2015). Honneth on Social Pathologies: A Critique. Critical Horizons. 16 (2)

Freyenhagen, F., (2014). Adorno’s politics. Philosophy & Social Criticism. 40 (9)

Freyenhagen, F., (2013). XIII-Ethical (Self-)Critique. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. 113 (3pt3)

Freyenhagen, F. and O'Shea, T., (2013). Hidden substance: mental disorder as a challenge to normatively neutral accounts of autonomy. International Journal of Law in Context. 9 (01)

Freyenhagen, F., (2013). Is Making Movies after Auschwitz 'Barbaric'? Lanzmann's Shoah as an Adornian Film. The Holocaust in History and Memory. 6

Martin, W., Freyenhagen, F., Hall, E., O'Shea, T., Szerletics, A. and Ashley, VL., (2012). An unblinkered view of best interests. BMJ. 345 (dec05)

Freyenhagen, F., (2011). Taking reasonable pluralism seriously: an internal critique of political liberalism. Politics, Philosophy & Economics. 10 (3)

Freyenhagen, F., (2011). Adorno's Ethics Without the Ineffable. Telos. 2011 (155)

Freyenhagen, F., (2011). Empty, Useless, and Dangerous? Recent Kantian Replies to the Empty Formalism Objection. Hegel Bulletin. 63/64

Freyenhagen, F. and Schaub, J., (2010). Hat hier jemand gesagt, der Kaiser sei nackt? Eine Verteidigung der Geussschen Kritik an Rawls? idealtheoretischem Ansatz [?Did Somebody Just Say the Emperor is Naked? In Defence of Geuss's Objections to Rawls's Ideal-Theoretical Approach?]. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie. 58 (3)

Freyenhagen, F., (2009). Personal autonomy and mental capacity. Psychiatry. 8 (12)

Owen, GS., Freyenhagen, F., Richardson, G. and Hotopf, M., (2009). Mental Capacity and Decisional Autonomy: An Interdisciplinary Challenge. Inquiry. 52 (1)

Freyenhagen, F., (2008). Reasoning Takes Time: On Allison and the Timelessness of the Intelligible Self. Kantian Review. 13 (02)

Freyenhagen, F., (2008). History and freedom: Lectures 1964-1965. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES. 38 (1)

Freyenhagen, F., (2006). Adorno’s negative dialectics of freedom. Philosophy and Social Criticism. 32 (2)

Freyenhagen, F., (2004). Kant and modern political philosophy. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES. 12 (1)

Freyenhagen, F., (2004). Kant and liberal internationalism: Sovereignty, justice, and global reform. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES. 12 (1)

Owen, G., Freyenhagen, F. and Martin, WM., Authenticity, Insight and Impaired Decision-Making Capacity in Acquired Brain Injury. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology. 25 (1)

Owen, G., Freyenhagen, F. and Martin, WM., Assessing Decision-Making Capacity after Brain Injury: A Phenomenological Approach. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology. 25 (1)

Chapters (7)

Freyenhagen, F., (2017). >>Aber was das Unmenschliche ist, das wissen wir sehr genau<< Zur Normativitätsproblematik bei Adorno. In: Warum Kritik? Begründungsformen kritischer Theorien. Editors: Ellmers, S. and Hogh, P., . Velbrück Wissenschaft. 229- 257. 3958320635

Freyenhagen, F., (2017). Critical Theory?s Philosophy. In: The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology. Editors: D'Oro, G. and Overgaard, S., . Cambridge University Press. 356- 378. 9781107121522

Finlayson, JG. and Freyenhagen, F., (2012). Introduction: The Habermas–Rawls dispute: Analysis and reevaluation. 1- 21

Freyenhagen, F., (2011). The Empty Formalism Objection Revisited: §135R and Recent Kantian Responses. In: Hegel's Philosophy of Right. 43- 72. 9781405188135

Freyenhagen, F., (2011). Adorno’s critique of late capitalism: Negative, explanatory and practical. In: Conceptions of Critique in Modern and Contemporary Philosophy. 175- 192. 9780230357006

Freyenhagen, F., (2010). Moral philosophy. In: Theodor Adorno: Key Concepts. 99- 114. 9781844654048

Freyenhagen, F., (2009). No Easy Way Out: Adorno's Negativism and the Problem of Normativity. In: Nostalgia for a Redeemed Future: Critical Theory. Editors: Ludovisi, SG. and Saavedra, GA., . University of Delaware Press. 39- 50. 9780874130720

Reports and Papers (1)

Martin, W. and Freyenhagen, F., (2014). Use or Weigh? or Use and Weigh? A Note on the Logic of MCA sec. 3(1)

Books (3)

Freyenhagen, F., (2010). Adorno's practical philosophy: Living less wrongly

Finlayson, JG. and Freyenhagen, F., (2010). Habermas and Rawls: Disputing the Political. Routledge. 978-0-415-87686-5

(2007). The Legacy of John Rawls. Continuum. 0826478433. 9780826499875

Grants and funding


Contested Autonomy

Arts And Humanities Research Council


Visiting Fellowship - Frankfurt : Rethinking Justice

Goethe Universitat - Frankfurt


Deciding for Oneself: Autonomous Judgement

Arts And Humanities Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 872713


5B.113, Colchester Campus

More about me


Essex Autonomy Project: